DOST hopes Senate will prioritize passage of bill creating PH virology institute

Published July 30, 2021, 1:30 PM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza 

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) expressed hope Friday, July 30, that the Senate will prioritize the passage of a bill creating the Virology Institute of the Philippines (VIP).

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña (PCOO/MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña urged the Upper Chamber to follow suit to the House of Representatives’ final reading approval of House Bill No. 9559 or the proposed VIP Act.

“I am very happy that the VIP was passed in the House of Representatives. I hope that it will be given priority in the Senate. It is an area where I think our Filipino scientists will excel,” he told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.

“We already have the local experts which are also products of our scholarships and training. We also have our Balik Scientists who can help. And we will form our network of international partners in that field,” he added.

The House passed the VIP measure on July 28, two days after President Duterte asked Congress to enact a law creating the VIP.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has allocated over P283 million for the establishment of the VIP.

“We will not only respond to current problems. We will also prepare for the future. We will be able to help ourselves and also contribute to the rest of the world,” dela Peña said.

“Thanks to our Executive leaders and Legislative bodies I can see its realization.”

The DOST said it is eyeing to break ground for the state-of-the-art VIP by the fourth quarter of 2021.